Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2022. 8:55 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) was first federated in 1966 and has gradually become, along with its membership, a loud voice for workers’ rights in Belize over five decades.
Its history was examined and written in a special commemorative book by historian Lawrence Vernon and released on Monday at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City.
Stated Vernon, “We invariably hear the name NTUCB in the news, but I do not believe the public is fully aware of its achievements since its inception in 1966, nor has its value been fully recognized over the years. But surely, we have heard its vocal opinions on various topics expressed in the media. Generally, the public has not fully appreciated what it means to be a real trade union in today’s history. So, I did my best to research and document this as the president said.”
Vernon said prominent names in the movement were willing to document the Congress’ heritage and provided valuable input into his final product while striving to maintain accuracy.
And it is a living history as noted by current President Luke Martinez, who used part of his speech to call on the Government to begin working on strengthening the worker representative apparatus by installing a new Labour Commissioner and new Ombudsman and to call a meeting of the tripartite body of Government, Business and Labour to discuss outstanding issues.
Martinez quoted Bob Marley (by way of Marcus Garvey) from “Redemption Song” in his final exhortation: “…emancipate yourself from mental slavery because none but ourselves can free our minds. Have no fear for atomic energy, ’cause none of them can stop the time.”
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